New vs. Existing

Benefits of New Construction

New homes generally come with steeper price tags, but offer more amenities. Homes are becoming increasingly wired for technology, including multiple phone lines and more advanced electrical wiring.

A new home can be built to suit the wants of the buyer. Better lumber, more energy-efficient appliances and improved insulation can be advantages for new home buyers.

New homes also require less maintenance.  You’re not going to have any severe maintenance for a longer period of time and thus you shouldn’t have to worry about any unexpected costs associated with maintenance of the property. New home owners are also less likely to file insurance claims and as a result insurance premiums are typically lower than those of older homes.

New homes may be better insulated, and have more energy efficient appliances including heating and cooling systems. The energy-efficiency standards and local building codes that are in place today far exceed those that were in place in prior years. Many markets now require certain energy-efficient features in new construction, such as a higher grade of insulation and Energy Star windows and doors, that aren’t found in older homes. For people who build rather than buy, their homes will be ahead of the green curve — and that will fetch a better price when it comes time to sell. Demand for green homes is soaring, with more than 80% of home buyers indicating they want energy-efficient features.

New homes usually have more modern features and facilities, such as open floor plan, media rooms, smart features, larger bathrooms and state of the art kitchens.

In addition, most new construction comes with a builder’s warranty (typically 5-30 year structural warranties) in addition to manufacturers’ warranties.

Some question marks associated with a new home purchase can be cleared with an existing home.

For many being the first one to own something is important and they are willing to pay a premium for this. For additional consideration read New Homes Offer Lower Operating Costs Allowing Buyers to Afford More Home.

Benefits of an Existing Home

For a home buyer putting costs over conveniences, purchasing an existing home is an option. Existing homes offer established yards and  landscaping. In an established neighborhood, home buyers can meet their would-be neighbors. The character of an existing neighborhood often differs from that of a new development area.

Inquiring into schools, police presence and other aspects of living in a neighborhood also are possible in an established neighborhood.

Existing homes often come with lower price tags because the buyer is paying past prices for labor and building materials. More negotiation in price often accompanies an older home.

The transaction timeline is another major plus for existing homes. Buyers can move into a home immediately after closing, which typically takes place 14 to 60 days after a seller accepts a buyer’s offer. Even if the home needs renovations, the work usually won’t displace the new owner. But with building, the timeline to move in extends months — or even years.

New subdivisions are the best bet for finding lots, but that means taking a chance on a location that hasn’t been established yet. Existing city lots or unbuilt lots in older subdivisions are rarer to come across. If the buyer places a high importance on living in a location with a lot of amenities, it would probably be better for them to buy an existing home in an established neighborhood.

Finally, new homes are often built in outlying areas where the municipalities need to charge higher taxes to offset new infrastructure and the fact that there are fewer residents to cover such expenses.

Home buyers should take personal preferences into account and examine the perks associated with both options.

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